5 shining lights of Sustainable Education in the US

“The discovery of agriculture was the first big step toward civilized life.” – Arthur Keith

To be defined as truly sustainable, a product, process or development must serve the needs of the present without hindering those of the future, the Brundtland Report explains.

Across the world, technology and industry are raising household incomes and quality of life, while the human population grows at a rate never seen before. We urbanize, produce and connect at break-neck speed, making it easy to lose track of the finite resources that power the advancements of contemporary life.

Such developments have spurred academics from fields like sustainability, agriculture, and environmental science to seek out answers to nagging questions that could well determine the future of life here on Earth.

So how do you become an integral part of this quest for a global, sustainable solution?

“The forces of science and technology that drive large parts of today’s economy catalyse vast social changes,” Slate Magazine explains. “Innovations emerge from corporations, universities and laboratories that are remote from most people’s everyday experiences. Understanding them often requires specialized knowledge and training.”

And where better to receive expert preparation for these disciplines than a prominent US university?

The United States Department of Agriculture states that graduates with experience and expertise in food, agriculture, renewable natural resources, and the environment are among the most desirable, forecasting almost 58,000 average annual openings for recent graduates of these fields. Popular demand for students with environment-facing expertise and qualifications is hardly surprising as the country looks towards future generations, keen to address the diverse challenges related to food security, sustainable energy, and environmental quality.

Here are 5 Universities that stand as shining lights of Sustainable Education in the US…


So you want to make the world a better place but need somewhere where you can roll up your sleeves and really get stuck in. Luckily for you, the University of Arizona’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) is on-hand to support your aspirations, giving you the best possible training to strengthen your career.

Here, you will learn how to ask the right questions and observe potential impact; using applied science to solve problems in diverse fields like animal and human health, engineering, retail and industry, helping professions, food production and preparation, technology, and sustainability. With 15 undergraduate majors and more than 50 graduate programs—including master’s, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs—you’ll be sure to find an area of study that fits your interests.

Located in Southern Arizona, the institution is surrounded by incredible ecological diversity. Almost all of the world’s biomes are represented within the state. This means that here you will learn about sustainability through entire systems and have the opportunity to be a part of research taking place in many different settings with only a few hours of travel time from campus to your research site.

Together with the University of Arizona’s CALS, you will help refine the solutions that will keep our planet and its inhabitants safe, healthy and resilient.


The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell is committed to improving the lives of people in New York State, and the wider world.

As the institution’s second-largest college, CALS is an advocate of purpose-driven science, research, education and outreach. Its world-renowned curriculum seeks to address pressing concerns regarding natural and human systems; food, energy and environmental resources; as well as social, physical and economic well-being.

“Since our founding, we have evolved continuously to meet the changing needs of our world,” the Faculty website notes. “Our top-ranked programs include over 20 majors in community and rural development, environment and natural resources, food and nutrition, communication, applied economics, agriculture, international programs and life sciences.”

Consistently striving to expand the frontier of environmental knowledge, the Cornell CALS pairs scientific excellence with a warm, generous spirit, showing the utmost dedication to the goal of leaving the world in a far better state than we found it.


Concentrating on the matters of food, energy and the natural world, the College of Agriculture & Natural Resources (CANR) at Michigan State University (MSU) provides an academically-rigorous and globally-renowned environment to kick-start your environmental venture.

As a globally-reputed institution, the CANR has pioneered advancements in the field for more than 15 years, forging powerful relationships, solving problems and meeting the needs of both Michigan and the world.

Home to 12 academic departments and 20 undergraduate majors – on top of its outstanding graduate provisions – CANR students investigate every part of life, from agriculture, to food and nutrition, environment and natural resources, and the built environment.

The Institute of Agricultural Technology represents a stand-out feature of the CANR experience. This cutting-edge facility delivers innovative programs that help produce career-ready graduates through intensive, hands-on learning experiences and skills enhancement in agricultural, environmental, and applied technologies.


Texas A&M’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences offers a dynamic and engaging environment in which global students are challenged and educated by the industry’s best.

The college offers world-class facilities, and courses that are taught by faculty whose research is on the cutting-edge. From feeding our world to protecting our environment, to improving our health and enriching our youth, to growing our economy and everything in between; innovations from Texas A&M’s CALS improve people’s lives in the state, the nation and the world.

The college represents the largest of its kind in the US, encompassing 14 academic departments, with 29 undergraduate degree programs and more than 70 master’s and doctoral programs – including a number of sought-after, interdisciplinary degrees.

Wherever your passion lies, Texas A&M’s world-class degrees will help you in your quest to improve the living world. Home to numerous research centers and institutes, the college allows students to build a solid base of expertise and experience that allow them to progress in a complex professional sphere.


The Penn State CALS is a recognized leader in Dairy and Animal Science, Food Safety, and Landscape Contracting, honing the next generation of scientists, business leaders, and civic community leaders.

Through a rich array of majors and minors and more than 650 separate study routes, this college is a place in which students learn and grow among industry professionals, inspiring students to become the environmental figureheads who help reshape the world.

Rapidly-evolving, interconnected partnerships between the food, fiber, natural resource and energy systems at the local-, national- and global-level present a wealth of challenges and opportunities for students.

“Our faculty is committed to developing the next generation of colleagues and leaders through the integration of a wide range of academic experiences in and out of the classroom,” the institution explains.

“With one faculty member for every 16 students, we provide individual attention. We’ll challenge you to engage in internships, research projects, competition and international travel. We’ll demand your academic preparation is nothing short of exceptional!”

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International

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